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June 15, 2005

By any standard, the Chautauqua series held here last week was a resounding success. The community owes a large debt of thanks to the people who came here to present the historical series, and to the local folks who laid the groundwork for the rest of us. Although storm clouds threatened the whole thing right from the start, the Perry high school auditorium became available as a substitute when it was needed, and everything seemed to go off right on schedule in spite of the storm clouds. The auditorium was cool, comfortable and the seating was merely great. The scholars and the entertainers succeeded in making the crowd happy, and the other performances were well done, also. Next time you see Karen Wilcox, Marilee Macias, Anna Lou Randall, Lloyd Brown, Richard Dugger or Lois Smith, or any of the others who labored so hard to make this program successful, tell them how much you appreciate their efforts in this and other types of civic projects. I hope the Chautauqua people will return to Perry soon and often. Special thanks to Charlotte Ann Ream Cooper for getting the idea originally.

The Noble County jail situation seems to have a dark cloud floating overhead. Changing the date of the election probably was mandated by the Oklahoma statutes, but here's hoping nothing more comes along to plague this important issue. We need that jail. Now.

One of the things we learned at the Chautauqua series was that for many years many of us have been using the wrong pronunciation for Sacajawea, or whatever the correct spelling may be. We learned in high school that she became part of the Lewis & Clark expedition, and that the English translation of her name told us she was "the Bird Woman," but the scholar's explanation the other night did succeed in convincing us that we have used the wrong pronunciation for many years. Ain't education great?

A lady told me the other day that she had some photos made of businesses around the square when the present post office was being built. She describes them and they definitely do sound interesting, so one of these days you are likely to see some of those pictures in this column with current captions to clarify what they are. Please keep watching for them.